News story

BASF focuses on employee safety

Thursday, 29 November 2012 ( #593 ) - Antwerp, Belgium
BASF has deployed a safety assistance system to help protect employees operating container-handling equipment at its Antwerp facility.

"'Never Compromise On Safety' is one of the core values at BASF," says logistics site services manager Joost Naessens. "So when we expanded our container handling facility at Antwerp, we knew we needed to implement a system to reduce the risk of collision between the vehicles."

The project in Antwerp extended the quay area to increase the number of container barges that could dock simultaneously. More reach stackers and barge handlers were deployed to increase the handling capacity.

As the facility's higher capacity and greater number of vehicles operating simultaneously increased collision risks, BASF appointed a team to select a position detection system (PDS).

After investigating multiple PDS options, BASF selected the Essensium solution due to its unique capabilities. "Various PDS solutions were offered," says BASF's Maarten Misschaert, "but no other (option) provided the reliability and accuracy we required for a system which should be used to help ensure the safe working conditions of our operators."

Essensium's LOST (Location for Sensor Tracking) has integrated GPS capabilities that ensure location tracking across the wider area of the facility, while the higher performance tracking and ranging capabilities are used for inter-vehicle ranging, and for areas where there is no adequate GPS coverage.

With a reaction time of less than a quarter of a second, a red strobe light and audio signal warn the equipment operator when adjacent handling equipment gets too close.

"Visibility can be limited when carrying a 40 ft. (12 m) container and manoeuvring between container stacks," says BASF's head of safety Lauris Van Hove. "We have evaluated this system together with the drivers, and it is a great reassurance to have this safety assistance feature."

Essensium NV specialises in low-power wireless and embedded software and hardware solutions.

BASF Antwerp NV, located north of the Antwerp harbour, produces chemicals, plastics and performance products in more than 50 production facilities. The site has 3,300 employees.
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